Former PGG Wrightson boss gets $3m golden handshake

Tim Miles, former managing director of PGG Wrightson. Miles received a $3m farewell payment after leading the company for less than three years. Photo / Simon Baker
Tim Miles, former managing director of PGG Wrightson. Miles received a $3m farewell payment after leading the company for less than three years. Photo / Simon Baker

Former PGG Wrightson managing director Tim Miles received a $3 million payment when he unexpectedly left the company last year, according to the company's annual report.

Miles, who led the rural services firm for two-and-a-half years until October last year, was paid $4.3 million in the latest financial year.

That was made up of the $3 million ex gratia payment, his base salary of $615,000, and a short-term incentive bonus of $703,000. His long-term incentive scheme, which involved 2.5 million Wrightson shares, didn't add to the balance, as he had been extended a loan to pay for the stake.

His exit payment isn't far off the $4 million NZ Farming Systems Uruguay had to pay Wrightson to cancel its management contract with the rural services firm, when Singapore's Olam International took control of the South American farm manager.

Miles' departure was the last of a rapid leadership shake-up at Wrightson, with just one senior executive, who is based in South America, left from Craig Norgate's tenure as chairman.

The new chairman John Anderson was brought in after Wrightson raised $250 million to slash debt after its failed merger with Silver Fern Farms, by installing Chinese seed and agricultural research firm Agria as a cornerstone shareholder.

Agria has since taken control of the company in a $144 million partial takeover.

The shares fell 2.6 per cent to 38 cents in trading yesterday, and have sunk 27 per cent this year.

- BusinessDesk

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